Northwestern Wins: A College Hoops Blog

An ode to Verne Lundquist’s calls and everything college basketball

Archive for November 25th, 2008

Tuesday’s Selections

Posted by Zach on November 25, 2008

Zach’s Picks: (Season Record: 41-42-1)

VCU (-8.5) over EAST CAROLINA- LOSS
Notre Dame (+2.5) over Texas- WIN
PENN (+3) over Penn State- LOSS
Florida (-4.5) over Washington- LOSS
Saint Louis (+9.5) over NEBRASKA- LOSS
North Carolina (-17) over Oregon- WIN
Syracuse (+4) over Kansas- WIN

Patrick’s Picks: (Season Record: 45-38-1)

VCU (-8.5) over EAST CAROLINA- LOSS
Texas (-2.5) over Notre Dame-LOSS
Penn State (-3) over PENN- WIN
Florida (-4.5) over Washington- LOSS
NEBRASKA (-9.5) over Saint Louis- WIN
North Carolina (-17) over Oregon- WIN
Kansas (-4) over Syracuse- LOSS

Tommy’s Picks: (Season Record: 47-36-1)
VCU (-8.5) over EAST CAROLINA- LOSS
Notre Dame (+2.5) over Texas- WIN
Penn State (-3) over PENN- WIN
Florida (-4.5) over Washington- LOSS

Saint Louis (+9.5) over NEBRASKA- LOSS
North Carolina (-17) over Oregon- WIN
Syracuse (+4) over Kansas- WIN

Posted in Daily Selections | 1 Comment »

ACC Week In Review: Nov. 16-23

Posted by Tommy on November 25, 2008

Boston College- Record: 3-1 (2-1 last week) The Eagles looked great after opening their season with three double-digit victories including a 12 point win over Saint John’s. Newcomer Joe Trapani is proving to be a key addition to this Eagles squad with 14.5 PPG to go along with 5.3 RPG. Rice looked like his old self in last week’s wins over Loyola (MD) and St. John’s. But when BC ran into the tight defense of Rick Majerus’ Billikens, Rice struggled mightly from the field in their 53-50 loss to Saint Louis.

Eagles Player of the Week: Joe Trapani- 15 PPG, 5.25 RPG

This Week’s Slate: 11/26 vs. Purdue

Clemson- Record: 5-0 (3-0 last week) Oliver Purnell and the Tigers have shown that they can really put points on the board during the first few games of this young season. They had a 93-40 dismantling of Wofford, but their other two games weren’t so lopsided. On the 16th, they beat Temple by a score of 76-72, a pretty nice neutral floor win over a talented Temple team led by Dionte Christmas. Later in the week, they traveled to Charlotte for a road test against the 49ers. Charlotte gave Clemson a scare, but Rivers and the Tigers showed composure in their nailbiting 71-70 win.

Tigers Player of the Week: K.C. Rivers- 12.3 PPG, 7 RPG and 2 SPG

This Week’s Slate: 11/25 vs. Savannah State, 11/28 vs. Presbyterian

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Duke- Record: 6-0 (4-0 last week) The Dukies have been one of the most impressive teams in the early going. They had a bit of a hiccup at home against Rhode Island but came out unscathed. Duke then went on to win the Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic with convincing victories over Southern Illinois and Michigan. Brian Zoubek and Lance Thomas look much better than they did last season and Kyle Singler’s added muscle mass is making him a force to be reckoned with down low. Nolan Smith is doing a great job starting at point guard both offensively and defensively.

Blue Devils Player of the Week: Kyle Singler- 15.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 3.8 APG

This Week’s Slate: 11/28 vs. Duquesne

Florida State- Record: 4-0 (3-0 last week) The Noles first week has shown that Toney Douglas needs more support. He’s averaging 22.5 PPG and almost four assists and rebounds per contest. Freshman Chris Singleton is the only other player averaging double figures with 11.3 PPG. This lack of balance has caused Florida State to struggle against teams like La Salle and Stetson. Their first real test is next week at Cincinnati. If Douglas doesn’t get support, the Bearcats have a good chance of downing the Seminoles.

Seminoles Player of the Week: Toney Douglas- 24.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG and 3.3 APG

This Week’s Slate: 11/24 vs. Western Illinois, 11/28 @ Cincinatti

Georgia Tech- Record: 2-0 (1-0 last week) Tech’s lone game this week was an overtime win against Mercer. The Jackets found themselves down by 18 midway through the second half after a 16-0 Mercer run. You can look at this in two ways. The bad side is the fact that this team was losing by 18 to Mercer. The good side is that they used their pressure defense to battle back and force overtime, where they dominated. Every team will face its fair share of adversity over the course of a season and teams are defined by how they deal with this adversity, but should Georgia Tech be down by 18 to Mercer?

Yellow Jackets Player of the Week: Gani Lawal- 27 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks

This Week’s Slate: 11/25 vs. Arkansas Pine-Bluff, 11/28 vs. Jacksonville

Maryland- Record: 3-0 (2-0 last week) Maryland started off the week with a blowout win over Youngstown State. Later in the week, they had a little more trouble with Vermont. Greivis Vasquez hit a fall-away three pointer with six seconds in regulation to send the game into overtime. The Terps hit the ground running in the overtime period, scoring the first 17 points in the extra session. They held on 89-74 to give Gary Williams his 400th victory as a coach at Maryland.

Terrapins Player of the Week: Greivis Vasquez- 27 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 4.5 APG

This Week’s Slate: 11/27 vs. Michigan State, 11/28 vs. Oklahoma State/Gonzaga.

Miami- Record: 2-1 (1-1 last week) Jack McClinton and Dwayne Collins have been running the show so far for the Hurricanes. They’ve combined for 35.3 PPG and Collins has corraled 13 RPG. In their first loss of the season, Frank Haith and the Canes just didn’t have an answer for UConn’s Hasheem Thabeet. He was 8-11 from the field and had seven blocks in their contest. McClinton compiled 27 points while Collins grabbed 14 rebounds, but the Huskies never looked back after they opened a 24-7 lead in the early going.

Hurricanes Player of the Week: Dwayne Collins- 15 PPG and 11.5 RPG

This Week’s Slate: 11/24 vs. San Diego, 11/29 vs. Stetson

North Carolina- Record: 3-0 (2-0 last week) The Heels have played like the best team in the land. They dismantled Kentucky on ESPN without Hansbrough, who had 13 points and seven boards in his first game back. Deon Thompson and Ed Davis have both looked great in the opening three games of the season. UNC sustained another injury after Tyler Zeller broke his wrist, which will likely prevent him from playing at all this season.

Tar Heels Player of the Week: Deon Thompson- 16 PPG and 9.5 PRG

This Week’s Slate: 11/24 @ Chaminade, 11/30 vs. UNC Asheville

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North Carolina State- Record: 2-0 (1-0 last week) The Fells-McCauley-Costner trio is showing what they’re capable of. They’ve combined for 44.5 PPG – over two thirds of NC State’s points – 17 RPG and 5.5 APG in the Wolfpack’s two games this season. NC State’s only game this week was a 69-56 victory over High Point. Their first real test isn’t until they face Davidson in early December.

Wolfpack Player of the Week: Courtney Fells, 23 points

This Week’s Slate: 11/25 vs. Winthrop, 11/30 vs. UNC Greensboro

Virginia- Record 3-0 (3-0 last week) The most surprising player in the ACC thus far has been Cavalier freshman guard Sylven Landesberg. He’s averaging 23.7 PPG and 5.3 RPG after three contests. After downing VMI 107-97, the Cavs have played two games that have come down to two points, a 77-75 victory over South Florida and a 68-66 win over Radford. VMI and South Florida are two decent wins for the consensus bottom team in the ACC. The Cavs have five players in double figures in scoring and forward Mike Scott is almost averaging a double-double.

Cavaliers Player of the Week: Sylven Landesberg- 23.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 2.7 APG

This Week’s Slate: 11/25 vs. Liberty, 11/28 @ Syracuse

Virginia Tech- Record: 3-2 (2-2 last week) I expected the Hokies to surprise a lot of people in the ACC, but Tech’s first couple haven’t been very impressive. They beat Gardner-Webb and Mount Saint Mary’s by a combined eight points and lost to Seton Hall, one of the bottom teams in the Big East. They did lose to a strong Xavier team by way of a half court shot as time expired, giving Tech fans flashbacks to Sean Dockery’s game-winner. Jeff Allen, Malcolm Delaney and A.D Vassallo all have over 16 PPG, but the next highest scorer is Cheick Diakite with 4.8 PPG. Somebody needs to step up for Seth Greenberg or the Hokies will have a tough time living up to their expectations.

Hokies Player of the Week: Jeff Allen- 17.5 PPG and 11.3 RPG

This Week’s Slate: 11/26 vs. Elon

Wake Forest- Record: 3-0 (2-0 last week) Wake has yet to be tested this season, but they have three blowout wins to start the year. They won 94-48 over North Carolina Central, 120-88 over UNC-Wilmington and 62-31 over Winston-Salem. Jeff Teague and Jeff Johnson have been very impressive in the early going and Chas McFarland has made great strides in his game. Freshman Al-Farouq Aminu is averaging a double-double. The Demon Deacons have certainly put their explosiveness on display so far.

Demon Deacons Player of the Week: Jeff Teague- 22.5 PPG 4 APG and 3.5 SPG

This Week’s Slate: 11/27 @ Cal State Fullerton

Posted in ACC Report | 5 Comments »

November 25: The Day After

Posted by Zach on November 25, 2008

Kansas Washington Basketball

Recap of Monday night action in the world of college hoops…

Syracuse 89, #18 Florida 83: Early in the season, the Big East is doing nothing to dispell notions of their conference possibly being considered the strongest in the history of college basketball. The first of two in Kansas City certainly wasn’t a tape you’d send to a clinic instructing defense. Both Syracuse and Florida split the opposing zone defense with relative ease for 40 minutes, and other than a few first half Andy Rautins or Nick Calathes threes, most of the baskets were layups and dunks. This was especially the case for Gators big man Alex Tyus, a sophomore with a frame most big men can only dream about. I watched this game intensively primarily because I wanted to become more familiar with Florida and some of their young talent. Suffice to say Tyus athleticism, explosivness near the basket, and ability to find seams in the Cuse defense stood out dramatically. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how impressive Nick Calathes is as a complete basketball player. 19 points, 7 assists and 4/8 from deep doesn’t tell half the story of how much this super sophomore provides as a floor leader, instinctive and sneaky passer and smooth jump shooter. I also came away impressed with Erving Walker as a speed demon driving to the basket with surprising range on his jumper. If Florida shapes up their defense, they could be a force in a weak SEC.

On the other side, this is a tremendous win for Syracuse to tout on Selection Sunday in case they slide in conference play because Florida will likely pad their record and ranking in the SEC. I took a couple things away from their high-scoring effort tonight: 1) Jonny Flynn doesn’t force anything. He lets the game come to him, finds open teammates, yet can seemingly score at any time when Syracuse desperately needs a hoop. 2) Andy Rautins really carried the Orange in the first half shooting threes. Rautins and Devendorf can give this team a whole new dimension if they develop consistency from outside. 3) Onuaku is a ferocious rebounder (12 in the game, seemed like 22). He snatches anything in his vicinity and grabbed numerous key boards down the stretch. 4) Keep an eye out for Cuse freshman Kris Joseph, a developing forward with a nice mid-range game that has served coach Boeheim well off the bench in their wins over Oakland and now Florida. If Syracuse can shore up the defense, they’ll be a force.

#23 Kansas 73, Washington 54: If anyone had lingering doubts, watching Washington throw up brick after brick tonight in the Sprint Center should have confirmed what a loss to Portland seemed to show: Lorenzo Romar’s squad is not very good. At all. Admittedly, Kansas displayed spirited and aggressive defense all night long with their 2-3 zone completely disrupting impressive freshman Isaiah Thomas and slashing forward Quincy Pondexter, but the jump shooting (29.2%) is hideous for the Huskies. Losing their primary outside shooter in Ryan Appelby certainly looks like a devestating subtraction at this point. When Cole Aldrich shut down Jon Brockman offensively, this team was completely lost. Dentmon, Overton and Gant look more and more like disappointments for Romar, and with expected contender Southern Cal also exposed over the weekend, you might find Tony Bennett’s Washington State Cougars finishing third in the Pac-10 this season behind UCLA and Arizona State.

Kansas played a decent game. Nothing spectacular that leads me to believe they’re a top-15 team, but they certainly showed enormous potential and reason for Jayhawk fans to be extremely excited. Cole Aldrich played a phenomenal game both offensively showing a variety of post moves and a mid-range jumper that somehow finds the bottom of the net even with a funky release, and defensively confusing the usually steady Jon Brockman and providing constant help defense, blocking shots and starting the Kansas break. Aldrich and Marcus Morris forms a great front line for Self to work with. It also appears Sherron Collins has his attitude/work ethic straightened out and he’s ready to lead a young Kansas squad. Tyshawn Taylor is an athletic guard who will compliment Collins nicely in the backcourt. The only concerns should be offensive rebounding (Washington dominated here) and three-point shooting (just 2 of 8).

#2 Connecticut 76, #19 Wisconsin 57: The Badgers love to slow the game down, limit possessions and force their opposition to change their gameplan to fit their ideal tempo. Usually Bo Ryan has no trouble doing so, but this year’s Connecticut Huskies are a totally different animal. Their roster is an endless assembly line of playmakers that forced the Badgers into more of a high-energy contest and even managed to drop 76 points on one of the most stout defenses in the nation. Who would have thought Jerome Dyson, not Price, Thabeet or Adrien, would be the Huskies leading scorer thus far in the 08-09 season? Dyson, along with Adrien down low and the emergence of the soaring freshman Kemba Walker, have been phenomenal thus far. I’d feel confident about my Connecticut pick to win the national title if Hasheem Thabeet wasn’t such an enigma. The only competition for the 7’3 center tonight came from the 6’8 Keaton Nankivil and 6’7 Joe Krabbenhoft, yet Thabeet never demanded the rock on offense and finished with nine points on 2/6 from the field. There’s absolutely no reason for Thabeet to not score 20 points in this matchup, and it shows a lack of aggressiveness that’s concerning if I’m a Connecticut fan. We’ve seen this the last two years with Hasheem, and the developing excuse seems to be wearing off.

Other Top 25 Action

  • #1 North Carolina made mince meat of poor Chaminade 115-70, scoring 67 in the second half behind 26 points from Danny Green
  • #7 Texas pulled away late in Maui and defeated St. Joe’s 68-50 with A.J. Abrams scoring 17 and playing a great point guard
  • #8 Notre Dame earned a second round date with Texas after trouncing Indiana 88-50; Tory Jackson with 21/6/5 on 10/17 FG
  • #21 Miami demolished San Diego in a good win 80-45 even though Jack McClinton only scored nine points and went 1/6 from three
  • #24 Wake Forest’s last two scores: 120-88, 62-31. Think Coach Gaudio worked on defense? Jeff Teague led the way with 14 points
  • #25 Davidson beat Florida Atlantic 76-60. Curry: 39/4/4, 13/21, 5/9, 8/9. Another day at the office.

Other Notes- Cleveland State beats St. Leo by 10 points, Loyola (IL) is demolished by Cornell, Wright State manages 37 points at home and Butler losing everyone leads me to believe this could be a down year in the Horizon League; Massachusetts with the most despicable loss of the night, going down at home to Jacksonville State 75-74. That’ll get the fans riled up for some Minutemen hoops, coach Kellogg! Patrick Patterson scored 28 points and snatched 12 rebounds in a Kentucky rout of Longwood; bad loss for Bradley at home by 12 to UMKC; Georgia has been awful so far this year, winning tonight 54-48 over Santa Clara and trying to cement themselves as the Oregon State of the SEC this season; Ohio State escapes 61-57 over Bowling Green with B.J. Mullens held to two points, lending credence to my earlier article about freshmen struggles early in this campaign; UNLV with a tremendous road win at Conference USA contender UTEP 80-67 with Wink Adams going for 20 points; we thought Oregon State might be on the upswing after contending with Nevada on the road, but they lost by one to Yale tonight at home.

NW Wins Horse Trailer Player of the Day- Stephen Curry, Davidson (again): 39 points, 13/21 FG, 5/9 3pt, 4 assists, 2 turnovers

On The Tube Today

  • Saint Joseph’s vs. Indiana, 130pm (ESPNU)
  • Chaminade vs. Alabama, 4pm (ESPN2)
  • Texas vs. Notre Dame, 7pm (ESPN)
  • Gardner Webb @ South Carolina, 7pm (ESPN FC)
  • Florida vs. Washington, 745pm (ESPNUHD)
  • Oakland at Kansas State, 8pm (ESPN FC)
  • Saint Louis at Nebraska, 8pm (ESPN FC)
  • Texas Southern at Marquette, 8pm (ESPN FC)
  • SE Louisiana at Texas Tech, 8pm (ESPN FC)
  • North Carolina vs. Oregon, 930pm (ESPN)
  • Syracuse vs. Kansas, 10pm (ESPN2HD)

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